The Baltic Exchange’s main sea freight index climbed about 10% to its highest level in three months on Monday as soaring coal demand from China continued to power capesize rates higher.
The Baltic dry index, which tracks rates for capesize, panamax and supramax vessels, jumped 155 points, or about 9.7%, to 1,761, its highest since mid-October last year.
The capesize index gained 407 points, or about 16%, to 2,955, its highest since Oct. 13, 2020.
Average daily earnings for capesizes, which typically transport 150,000-tonne cargoes such as iron ore and coal, rose by $3,376 to $24,507.
“Increased demand for coal from Indonesia going into China has definitely boosted the rates in the Pacific,” Rebecca Galanopoulos Jones, head of research at Alibra Shipping, said.
Last week, record cold weather in China resulted in a massive increase in power demand.
Increased Chinese demand for Brazil’s iron ore has been the cause for optimism going through to the smaller sizes like panamax vessels, Jones added.
The panamax index gained 61 points, or 3.9%, to 1,620, its highest level since late-August last year.
Average daily earnings for panamaxes, which usually carry coal or grain cargoes of about 60,000 tonnes to 70,000 tonnes, were up $550 to $14,581.
The supramax index gained 10 points to 1,039, an over three-week high.